HMNZS Canterbury to support Fiji cyclone relief efforts

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that the Navy’s Multi-Role Vessel the HMNZS Canterbury would be sent to Fiji to support relief and recovery efforts following tropical cyclone Winston.

According to a tweet by the Fiji government spokesman, 42 people were confirmed dead in the wake of the monster cyclone Winston which hit Fiji on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

HMNZS Canterbury will depart Auckland, New Zealand this week to deliver essential supplies like building materials, water storage tanks and medical supplies. Canterbury will be supported by the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington.

New Zealand’s foreign minister said: “Cyclone Winston has caused extensive and widespread devastation across Fiji, taking lives, and destroying homes and infrastructure. New Zealand is committed to supporting the Government and people of Fiji as they respond to this disaster and this is reflected in the further deployments we are announcing today.”

The minister also said that a further contingent of NZDF and New Zealand Fire service engineers would depart from Ohakea today to support the Fiji authorities with repairs to public buildings and critical infrastructure.

New Zealand Defence Force C-130s are already delivering relief supplies and equipment in Fiji, and the P3 Orion continues to carry out regular reconnaissance flights.

“This is one of the most damaging cyclones in Fiji’s history and this is reflected in the scale of our response. New Zealand will continue to do all we can to help and we will stand with Fiji in the aftermath of this disaster,” McCully said.

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